A peerless Thurseve.
The evening holds her breath, not a whisper of wind, the bay’s surface scrubbed clean, polished. Clouds enough in the sky to conjure up another in a series of remarkable sunsets, magenta high up fading down through burnt orange, cantaloupe, and tan to the grand finale, sunset gold. The water adsorbs the magenta, coats the five of us along with East and West Brothers, our course between the two islands to Pt. San Pablo.
A lovely evening, only thing out of place is a small dark cloud, a singularity, hanging over Pt. San Pablo Harbor. Leastways, the odd little dark clump appears to be hanging over the harbor, the cloud first spotted during our raft-up-snack outside Bruno’s. Beyond that cloud, the bay crossing’s absent other distractions, no birds, seals, large ships.
Within a minute of taking out on Pt. San Pablo Harbor’s Pet Sematary Beach, Gandalf, Don’t Follow Don, Patrick, Dragon, and I do encounter, are surprised by, another distraction.
Just beyond the narrow strip of pebbly beach and nestled in the pickleweed behind is the harbor’s pet cemetery, a handful of grave markers visible in the fading light. Off to one side is a freshly dug grave, the empty hole framed by mounds of excavated pebbles and dirt.
Ten minutes after our grave encounter, a harbor resident wanders down the beach, heads our way. I figure she’s spotted our cookfire, is curious. It’s not our cookfire that draws her, not curiosity, it’s the open grave. She’s come to help help her friend, ours as well, Bonnie bury her dog, Sky.
Bonnie’s pet for 10 years, Sky passed away earlier today, Thursday, her passing I suspect the focus of that singular dark cloud. Just saying.
A handful of harbor locals gathers around, all of us helping with the burial. To the flowers and card marking the site, Don’t Follow Don adds four of his hi-tech illuminated juggling clubs, a memorable sight. In the background, Bonnie streams a rendition of Hans Zimmer’s “Inception.”
“I heard the instrumental on the radio for the first time today,” says Bonnie. “I thought it’d be perfect for Sky’s ceremony.” It is. Perfect.
The short ceremony at an end, Bonnie and the locals head back to their harbor live-aboards. We offer food from our cookfire, but have few takers. Only local to take advantage of our stores is Zulu, Bonnie’s second hound and younger sibling to Sky. Truth be told, Zulu preempts our offer, indulges himself while we pay a final tribute to Sky at her gravesite, our backs turned.
Available for Zulu’s sampling are an open can of mystery meat from Trader Joe’s, a large salmon filet, and a mound of shrimp. To his credit, Zulu’s well-behaved, samples modestly, leaves more than enough for us.
Food unavailable for Zulu’s sampling are focaccia bread, mixed green salad, chopped veggies, fire-baked potatoes, and a raspberry tart.
A memorable and unusual paddle.
Date: Thurseve, 30 January 2020.
Distance: Six point six nautical miles.
Speed: One point three knots.
Time: Five hours.
Spray factor: None.
Dessert: Raspberry tart.